Nearly half of Nevada’s inmates have received at least 1 dose of COVID-19 vaccine

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High Desert State Prison in Indian Springs, Nev. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Almost half of the state’s prison population has been vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the Nevada Department of Corrections.

A news release from NDOC’s Carson City office says 5,063 offenders signed up to receive the COVID-19 vaccine earlier this year. As of Tuesday 5,187 offenders have received at least the first dose.

More than 10 vaccine clinics are scheduled in the next two weeks at facilities around the state, including High Desert State Prison on Monday.

“We are pleased so many offenders have prioritized their health and the health of others around them,” said Charles Daniels, Director of the Nevada Department of Corrections. “We are proud of our staff and grateful to our community partners for successfully vaccinating such a large group in a relatively short time.”

As the vaccine rates increase, restrictions will decrease regarding visitation. Limited visitation resumed May 1.

“Overwhelmingly, the response was positive,” said Brian Williams, Deputy Director of Operations for the Nevada Department of Corrections. “Families, some of whom traveled great distances, were happy to be reunited after a prolonged hiatus. We look forward to opening to more visitors in the future.”

NCOC said visitation protocols will be re-evaluated after a 30-day trial. Institutions with a 75% or greater vaccination rate will have some restrictions lifted, allowing for more frequent visits and more visitors, as well as younger children.

Once an institution reaches 80%, visitation will resume at pre-pandemic levels, but with the addition of appointments to streamline the process for both visitors and offenders.

“We’ve been hearing from visitors that they prefer having set appointments,” Williams said. “It makes the process more efficient, leaving more time for the actual visit.”

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